How To Thrift Like A Pro

As the years have gone by, thrifting has become more and more popular. I blame Macklemore. Some of my earliest memories I remember are walking about thrift shops and flea markets with my mother. I would like to think my love/niche for thrifting started there. This instilled in me the beauty that used items have, and that something shouldn’t need a fat price tag to be “quality” or “fashionable”. Giving those items discarded by others, a second life. “Another mans trash, is another mans treasure”.

In the more recent years, I have been focused on sustainable fashion, and trying to cut back on my contribution to large corporations whom are selling clothing made unethically, and of low quality. As consumers, we have the power to change the world we live in. Just by thrifting we can make such a difference. Less money going to big box stores, who are buying cheap clothing to sell them at cheap prices. You definitely get what you pay for when it comes to big box retail. When it comes to secondhand, you are getting more for your money. Most of the items you pull off the rack at a secondhand store, are products that are of quality, and have been made to last. Even if you find some products that deteriorate faster while thrifting, (items from forever 21), and you purchased them from a secondhand store, at least your money went to an ethical company, ie: Goodwill. This is something that helps me sleep at night.

Why is thrifting & sustainable fashion so important to me? Fashion does not have to break your bank. Nor does it have to have a label. I like to know that what I wear is not just a representation of my style, but of my beliefs. That I can look in my wallet after a shopping excursion, and still find money.

I would say that I go thrifting anywhere from 2-4 times a week. If anyone follows me on Instagram, or knows me outside of this blog, you know that thrifting was an actual a job for me at one point. I had a side business off of my full time job selling secondhand finds. The business was wonderful, but to focus on my blog, and personal life, the business was taken over by my dear friend who I co-ran the business with. It was loads of fun, and it actually showed me that there are so many things to find hidden in those racks. New items coming in daily, so even if you frequent the same Goodwill 2-3 times a week, there’s a possibility of you finding something you didn’t see your first go around. I tend to explore Goodwills the most. There are about 6 within 40 minutes of me.

People always ask me, “how do you have the patience?”, or say, “I can never find anything good. I get so overwhelmed”. Well here’s a tip. I go in knowing what I am on the hunt for. What I have in my wardrobe already, what pieces would help accentuate my style, or add to a piece I already have. So for example, right now, I am on the hunt for more furniture/storage for my home office, wall art, maxi skirts, (preferably of the floral print variety), as well as maxi dresses, as summer is finally here! If you peep my Instagram: @thecarrowife, you can catch a glimpse of my style, and what pieces i’ve found already from thrifting. Other things i’m on the hunt for are work shirts that can also be worn casually in my everyday life. Also not against secondhand footwear. If I find shoes in good condition, i’m all over them. Strappy sandals, booties, slip ons are on my search list. So if you go in knowing what you would love to find, or even with the smallest idea as to what you’d love to add to your wardrobe, I can guarantee you’ll been more successful while thrifting. This tip sends me straight to the specific rack with what i’m looking for, or the area of the store with the items i’m looking for. This way i’m not aimlessly wandering, wasting my time.

One last tip to send you on your way to becoming a pro status thrifter, is: Always try your finds on before you purchase! I know our time is precious, and we like to make excuses as to why not to try things on, “oh this is only 3$, if I buy it and it doesn’t fit, whatever, I paid 3$ for it”. By trying things on, not only will you save that 3$, but you can visualize if the piece you have is a good fit, and will help you determine what fits you best, and what to not look out for while thrifting in the future.

Happy hunting!

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